15x For Mary Carillo, 7x For Rowdy Gaines At The Tokyo Olympics

15x For Mary Carillo, 7x For Rowdy Gaines At The Tokyo Olympics

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim for the women (August 4th) and men (August 5th) is expected to be the fastest (by far), the most competitive and the most challenging marathon swim at the Olympics to date.

The NBC broadcast of the marathon swims in Tokyo Bay will be described by two familiar Olympic announcers: play-by-play announcer Mary Carillo and analyst Rowdy Gaines. The Tokyo Olympics will be Carillo’s 15th Olympic Games where she has served as a co-host, analyst, and play-by-play announcer. It will be Gaines 7th Olympic Games where he has served as the swimming analyst for both pool swimming since 1996 and marathon swimming since 2008.

I am looking forward to listening to both Mary and Rowdy,” said Steven Munatones. “Mary knows athletics and the innate drive of elite athletes. Mary can be insightful and humorous [see below]. Rowdy knows swimming so well; he always describes the competitive situations in the pool and open water so well and colorfully [see below]. The sport is in very good hands for these two veterans. They will have plenty of sidelines and stories to explain during the 2+ hour broadcasts of the marathon swim.

Munatones continued, “Considering there were 8 men rounding the last turn buoy with a shot at winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, that is saying something about the competitiveness of both the men’s and women’s field. But this sport is so unpredictable that we could also just as likely see a repeat of Sharon von Rouwendaal pulling away from her competitors and winning the marathon swim with a comfortable margin.

There will be lots of physicality* – both seen and unseen. The simplicity of the course almost demands constant bumping, elbowing, and pulling of feet and legs, both inadvertently and intentionally. There will be lots of warning whistles, plenty of yellow flags, and I think more than one key red flag will have to be thrown. The pressure on the head referees is going to be tremendous. Sid Cassidy and his crew will face tremendous pressure to make the correct calls. The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Odaiba Marine Park is a flat-water, rectangular course that is easy to navigate, but with the pack of 25 finalists all swimming in close proximity to one another, they cannot see everything underwater.

The Japanese designers created what amounts to be a big pool – or as close as they could in the open water in Tokyo Bay. But the water is murky and what goes on underwater will probably stay underwater – unseen and unknown.

With so many of the open water swimmers among the world’s best distance freestylers in the pool, the marathon swim is going to be blazing fast. The races in Tokyo will not be like the London Olympics where the pace on the men’s side was slow in the beginning – really setting the perfect stage for Ous Mellouli to “shorten” the course to a fast 3 km closing race that favored his 1500m speed. Rather, with swimmers like, they are going to punish themselves and their competition right from the get go because they know if you allow one of these fast swimmers a lead of 25-50 meters, forget it. No one is going to chase the world’s best distance freestylers down in Tokyo.

Of course, those predictions will be thrown out the window if the heat and humidity are unbearable in Tokyo – and the conditions could very well be the warmest on record. If the water is near or above 31°C (88°F), and the humidity is over 90% with the sun is bearing down on the swimmers who will be wearing swim caps, tight techsuits – many of which will be black, then watch out. Swimmers are going to overheat in the nearly 2-hour race and hyperthermia will play havoc on their abilities to continue swimming at such a fast pace.

The athletes have been acclimating to these temperatures for at least 2 years now – but we can only predict accurately one thing: Expect The Unexpected – that comes both from the performances of the swimmers and the play-by-play by Mary and Rowdy.”

Olympic 10K Marathon Swim Female Finalists:

1. Xin Xin (China)
2. Haley Anderson (USA)
3. Rachele Bruni (Italy)
4. Lara Grangeon (France)
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
6. Ashley Twichell (USA)
7. Kareena Lee (Australia)
8. Finnia Wunram (Germany)
9. Leonie Beck (Germany)
10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands)
11. Anna Olasz (Hungary)
12. Paula Ruiz Bravo (Spain)
13. Kate Sanderson (Canada)
14. Alice Dearing (Great Britain)
15. Angelica Andre (Portugal)
16. Cecilia Biagioli (Argentina)
17. Anastasia Kirpichnikova (Russian)
18. Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador)
19. Spela Perse (Slovenia)
20. Yumi Kida (Japan)
21. Michelle Weber (South Africa)
22. Paola Perez (Venezuela)
23. Krystyna Panchishko (Ukraine)
24. Li-Shan Chantal Liew (Singapore)
25. Souad Nefissa Cherouati (Algeria)

Olympic 10K Marathon Swim Male Finalists:

1. Florian Wellbrock (Germany)
2. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France)
3. Rob Muffels (Germany)
4. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary)
5. Jordan Wilimovsky (USA)
6. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy)
7. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
8. Alberto Martinez (Spain)
9. Mario Sanzullo (Italy)
10. David Aubry (France)
11. Hector Thomas Cheal Pardoe (Great Britain)
12. Athanasios Kynigakis (Greece)
13. Matan Roditi (Israel)
14. Kai Graeme Edwards (Australia)
15. Taishin Minamide (Japan)
16. Tiago Campos (Portugal)
17. Kirill Abrosimov (Russia)
18. David Farinango (Ecuador)
19. Ous Mellouli (Tunisia)
20. Michael McGlynn (South Africa)
21. Daniel Delgadillo (Mexico)
22. Matej Kozubek (Czech Republic)
23. Hau-Li Fan (Canada)
24. Phillip Seidler (Namibia)
25. William Yan Thorley (Hong Kong)

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Steven Munatones